Agenda item


The Director of Legal and Governance (and Monitoring Officer) submitted a report to update the Committee in respect of the implementation of the Policy on Disclosure and Barring Service for Members which had been introduced in May 2017, and to request that the Committee considered the amended policy. The amended Policy was attached as an appendix to the officer’s report.


The report noted that as Councillors by virtue of their role did not take part in “regulated activity” as defined by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, in that they generally did not have unsupervised contact with children or adults as part of their role, they were not legally required to be DBS checked. As however the safeguarding of children, young people and adults was a key priority for the Council, and that as Councillors had a wide range of responsibilities which could require them to access sensitive information about, or have contact with, vulnerable children and adults, the Standards and Personnel Appeals Committee had at its meeting on 10 October 2016 recommended that all Councillors should be DBS checked at the Standard level (Minute No. SP9 2016/17). The Policy requiring all Councillors to be subject to a DBS check, and that the proposal that the cost of the check be deducted from their allowance had been approved by Council on 8 December 2016 (Minute No. C45 2016/17).


The Monitoring Officer advised the committee that the DBS system had changed since the Council had adopted and implemented the policy of DBS checks for Councillors and now included three levels of DBS checks, basic, standard and enhanced. The scope and costs of each level were outlined in the officer’s report and it was noted that the Standard DBS cost £1 more that the Basic DBS but provided details of both spent and unspent convictions as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The Monitoring Officer noted that previously issued DBS checks could not be accepted by the Council, for example those requested from Nottinghamshire County Council for District Councillors who were also County Councillors, unless it was through the official update service. It was noted that the official update service required an annual subscription and registration within 14 days of a DBS certificate being issued and that due to the costs, short timescales and data sharing permissions involved in using the update service this was not recommended as a practical option for the Council to use, and that the Council should continue to request a DBS check within two months of a Councillor taking office following their election.


Members of the Committee were in agreement that the policy of DBS checks for all Councillors had been beneficial and that they should continue, with cost of the checks being deducted from each Councillors’ Basic Allowance at source. Members also noted that the DBS form should be included in the new starter pack issued to all Councillors after their election to enable checks to be processed promptly. 




a)    the update in relation to the implementation of the Policy on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for Members, be received and noted;


b)    it be agreed that Members continue to be DBS checked as per the Policy as presented;


c)    Council be recommended to approve that Members undergo a Standard level of DBS check at the commencement of their 4-year term of office (or at any such time as they may become elected);


d)    the amended Policy on Disclosure and Barring Service for Members, as appended to the agenda, be supported and recommended to Council for approval.




In order to protect those who are most vulnerable in society the Council adopted a policy for all Members to undergo Standard Disclosure and Barring Checks in 2017. The policy has been in place for two years and so it is a good time, in advance of the District Council elections in May 2019, to look at how the policy has been implemented and consider making suitable changes to the policy in order for the policy to remain up to date.


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